Is Marriage Worth the Effort?

Friday, November 12, 2010 - 10:42 AM

(p!o/flickr)

When the statistics for success are still grim (50 percent of marriages fail), we're asking: is marriage really worth the effort?

Whether you're married, divorced or considering either, do you have a story that made you think twice about tying the knot?

Ephron tells us that the stories of relationships ending are often as rich as the beginnings. She writes about her experiences over at The Huffington Post:

Divorce seems as if it will last forever, and then suddenly, one day, your children grow up, move out, and make lives for themselves, and except for an occasional flare, you have no contact at all with your ex-husband. The divorce has lasted way longer than the marriage, but finally it's over.

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Comments [21]

Jeremy

This design is steller! You certainly know how to keep a reader entertained.

Between your wit and your videos, I was almost moved to start my own blog (well, almost.
..HaHa!) Wonderful job. I really enjoyed what
you had to say, and more than that, how you presented it.
Too cool!

Mar. 07 2013 12:24 AM
shonda from NC

Marriage Sucks! I married someone who loved me very much all was good, until he became an addict...he spent all his time and my money on another hit, and another hit..never mind paying the bills or food for my pregnant ass...just get another hit!! Then after leaving my childs father I met another man...he insisted on marrying and after asking me four times, I said yes. We hit rock bottom right out of the gate! lost the home, his child and I found myself again in a addicts arms....this time alcohol! he abuses me and hurts me..Physically yes, and mentally too...he grabbed me around the throat and said hes going to kill me!! i'll probably be dead by the time someone actually reads my post... I hate Marriage! If I get out of this alive I'm turning GAY!~

Apr. 11 2011 11:30 AM
Sylvie from Fort Lauderdale, Fl

Not all marriages are meant to last. People change, even within a good marriage. Look at Tipper and Al Gore who seemed extremely well matched, down-to-earth and downright happy. (One would hope this was a correct impression, and not something that stood out distorted because of proximity to the dysfunctional marriage of the Clintons who would make anybody look happily married.) Yet they are separating after all those years....

The truth is, the amount of nonsense and humiliations one has to endure in a marriage, and the amount of accommodations one is expected to provide in order to be "supportive" is something that nobody should have to put up with, and no one does in any other type of situation, except within the confines of marriage.

It chills me sometimes when I overhear couples in the aisles of supermarkets, the carping and bitching and petty arguments over whether to buy whole wheat or multi-grain. For God's sake, it's bread. I guess it's called the daily grind, and it can grind you down.

Nov. 16 2010 09:14 AM
Making The Effort in NYC

Fifty percent of all marriages DO NOT end in divorce!

There have been several articles in publications such as The New York Times in recent years indicating that this statistic is inaccurate. In fact, studies seem to show that divorce rates have been declining since the 70s. There is also a significant divide along socioeconomic lines. Age factors in too. If you are, say, 30 and college educated, your chances of marital success are probably pretty good.

Here are a few recent articles challenging the 50% stat:

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/09/29/opinion/29wolfers.html?_r=2

http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/05/20/sizing-up-divorce-risk/

http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1989124,00.html

There have been countless more articles on this issue over the years. Back in 2005, for example, the Times featured another story challenging the statistic. Yet, despite debunking the stat in their own paper, the Times went on repeating the statistic in other stories for nearly five years. (Why is it so sticky?)

Moreover, the fifty percent divorce statistic (or the media's insistence on citing it) seems to have created an entirely new category of relationship that should be factored into the next study. These are cohabiting couples who are essentially 'married'--they're monogamous, share expenses, and stick together in sickness and health--but resist tying the knot because the statistic has them so spooked. The 'all but the paper marrieds' believe that there is something about marriage that creates divisions in a relationship.

Please understand that I'm not saying that everyone should get married, just that it is a real and viable option for those who want to take this step. I chose to get married at age 34 and I'm quite happy five years later. Will I be happy in ten years? I don't know but I'll do what I can. All relationships are ultimately conducted in private and come down to making the small choices we can control. A few days ago, my husband and I had an argument and chose to apologize to each other and talk it over nicely and hug and move on. I do think about my wedding ceremony often but never about the vows. I think about what the judge said after the vows. Justice Roberts told us to "treat each other with kindness." That is what sustains any long term relationship.

Statistics be damned.


Nov. 15 2010 04:32 PM
Rebeca from Detroit, MI

I think it's worth the effort for those who make it for the right reasons. Many marry to fix unsolved issues, for the wedding, or until 'they' are no longer happy; those are ticking bombs that rightly go off when things are no longer easy. My spouse and I went through extensive preparation before marrying for, well, when the worst comes our way. When I think of the life that we're building together, I have no doubts that it's all worth it for us.

Nov. 15 2010 09:12 AM
Peg

Marriage is an archaic religious custom to assign ownership and control of property (wives, children,livestock and land) to a male heir. Today we've reframed that 'image' to be a series of romantic courtship interludes, followed by a huge party that usually bankrupts the celebrants and their guests, followed by a rather isolating and restricting social unit called "the nuclear family" = mom, dad and the kids. For the next 20-25 years, the couple tries to navigate the rocky road to "happily ever after" as defined by TV and other media. Too bad for those who don't "measure up!"

Perhaps it's time to imagine another way to provide meaning in life and good company.

Nov. 15 2010 07:13 AM
Susan

I'm in the process of a divorce after 2 years of dating, 10 years of marriage and one child and it is the most painful experience of my life. I believe marriagne can certainly be worth it if you're both on the same page. After both my daughter's father and I grew up in divorced families, I'd believed more than anything I'd offer my daughter the intact family I never had and it is excrutiating to not provide her with that, and to have rolled the dice wrong in my own choice. The costs of divorce to children, and the adults they become, are huge. And can we get rid of the term 'co-parent' to describe post-divorce parenting? What a ridiculous attempt to sanitize something that is so elementally a lasting fracture to a child's world.

Nov. 15 2010 06:25 AM
Colleen from Randolph, MA

I think people forget that marriage isn't something out of a movie or TV show, its alot of work, alot of mundane days, but its also the bliss of coming home to someone who loves you. After eight years of being together and 2 years of marriage my husband is still the best part of my day.

Nov. 14 2010 11:07 PM
Natasha from Miami, FL

I just got divorced this year after 1 year of marriage, which came after 6 years of dating and 5 of those living together. In hindsight, I realized that we got married and were together for the wrong reason, but I still believe that if you find the right person and get married for the right reasons it can be a wonderful and amazing thing. Of course it takes work, love and patience to make it work but when it's worth it, none of that seems like work. It's a labor of love.

Nov. 14 2010 07:58 PM
By text from Denver, Colo.

Yes..there are still 50% that are still successful.

Nov. 13 2010 10:53 AM
By text from New York, NY

I've been married 3 times so I'm batting .333. Man, it took a lot of effort! Worth it? As Jack Benny said when facing an armed robber barking "your money or your life!" "...I'm thinking..."

Nov. 13 2010 10:52 AM
By text from Pontiac, Mich.

I don't know. I'll tell you either in twenty years, or after I get divorced.

Nov. 13 2010 10:52 AM
By text from Atlanta, Ga

Being married is GREAT! How else do u get regular sex AND the trash taken out on demand?! Not to mention bug killing and light bulb changing.

Nov. 13 2010 10:51 AM
By text from Ramsey, NJ

Many people feel trapped because of financial or other obligations but especially because when married there is extra guilt.

Nov. 13 2010 10:51 AM
Heather Doherty

With the exception of my relationship with my sister, the one I have with my husband is the closest of my life. I suppose marriage is not absolutely neccessary to this sort of bond. We could still be a forever team without it, but our social and legal systems do make it easier to be each other's advocate if we are married. All close relationships require work. The effort is not unique to marriage.

Nov. 12 2010 08:57 PM
By text from Dedham, Mass.

Yes. Have to have good attitude

Nov. 12 2010 12:35 PM
By text from Michigan

I don’t want to get married. I'd rather just have kids, and if it doesn't work out just split.

Nov. 12 2010 12:35 PM
By text from Allan, Woonsocket, RI

No the human animal is the only one that thinks it is monogamous. IT ISN'T.

Nov. 12 2010 12:34 PM
By text from Pontiac, Mich.

Sure. If you want to be married. The failure rate at gambling is infinitely higher, yet millions do. Reducing life to a balance sheet is stupefying.

Nov. 12 2010 12:34 PM
By text from Mass

Marriage is proven to extend longevity, lower stress, and increase sexual activity. It also is an almost some areas a living necessity and provides tax benefits. All this being said it is no.

Nov. 12 2010 12:33 PM
By text from Alpharetta, Ga.

Effort is measured differently from others, although marriage is simple but unique. Marriage is not easy but simple to understand. Now that the entertainment industry has complete control over many minds that are easily influenced, divorce, adultery, and promiscuity are the common themes for entertaining the masses. Unfortunately, men aren't making the money they may deserve to be head of household so lack of respect in marriages can contribute to divorce, but again, effort is measured differently.

Nov. 12 2010 12:32 PM

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